We have come a long way, yet we still have far to go
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Disaster experts around the world have continually warned governments and the public about the possibility of “worst-case” natural hazard scenarios and their overwhelming impacts. Yet, planning for the occurrence of these events has fallen far short of need. The large earthquake that occurred off the coast of Sumatra in 2004, which resulted in one of the deadliest tsunamis ever recorded, was a painful reminder that living in some of the most desirable areas of the world does have its risks. We all have enjoyed the fun of restful visits to coastal resort communities all around the world, and we rarely think about earthquakes or tsunamis interfering with this enjoyment. Yet, they take us by surprise. Before these events do occur, there should be adequate education for everyone on what actions are appropriate as well as an effective warning system to trigger the right actions.